CIM Group acquired a 127,400-square-foot flex and manufacturing building in Andover occupied by Dräger Medical Systems for $26 million in January. Courtesy photo.

Demand for industrial real estate remained strong in eastern Massachusetts with leasing activity contributing to a 1 million-square-foot uptick in absorption during the first quarter.

Vacancies declined to 8.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a report released Thursday by Colliers International in Boston.

Sectors including e-commerce, life science, robotics and brewing are contributing to the demand for space, including preleasing of speculative projects. Boston-based GFI Partners’ 100 Financial Park in Franklin, a 300,000-square-foot high-bay warehouse, sold for $34.5 million to Barings Real Estate in January after securing a full-building lease by Imperial Bag & Paper.

Amazon continues its search for expansion, with more than 1 million square feet of active requirements in the region, Colliers reported. Lowe’s Home Improvement is in the market for 800,000 square feet.

Many of the transactions preceded the brunt of the COVID-19 epidemic’s effects on the global economy, Colliers noted. But the bulk of the industrial development pipeline has been located in the suburbs, most of which have not been affected by government-ordered bans on construction activity until this week.

“A recession appears imminent though largely a result of planned and deliberate closures and layoffs, time will tell how quickly we recoup losses and regain business as usual when the storm passes,” the report by Colliers researchers Dion Sorrentino, Aaron Jodka and Nick Dessalines stated.

Industrial Real Estate Market Continued to Grow in Q1

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min